TLT Increase Passes
Community members and business owner from all over Lane County contributed to the discussion of the potential increase and use of the Transient Lodging Tax proposed by the Lane County Commissioners. After hearing much testimony from the public the commissioners voted to increase the TLT by 2%. What was not decided in that meeting was how the monies will be allocated. Dana Turell with the Turell group, a marketing and advertising firm and the incoming board of directors for travel Lane County said the TLT is part of a living eco system of Tourism.
“When you decide on how to use transient Lodging Tax, that you use it in a way that will refill that cycle of funding and will bring more visitors here to spend money on our economy and to spend more tax.”
Testimony and comments prior to the meeting regarding a presumed lack of funding for Florence specific marketing was met with pushback from outgoing commissioner Jay Bozievich. Bozievich asked Lane County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky for a reckoning of funds spent in Florence.
“The amount of county collected TLT county-wide collected TLT that has been remitted to Florence over the past decade has at least equaled the amount generated by Florence if not exceeded.”
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Bettina Hannigan sought a rebuttal to the statement, but commissioner Bozievich said it was not allowed since it was outside the realm of a public hearing. Bozievich also said that monies contributed to Travel Lane County also count towards Florence in that Travel Lane County does participate in marketing for the Florence area. The county commissioners are looking next on where to apply the increase and have mentioned two projects that are being considered: A new stadium for the Eugene Emeralds and an indoor facility for recreation that would have a year-long use.
It has been more than two weeks since the last COVID-19 update from Lane County Public health. The new reporting model has changed in recent weeks to allow for the allocation of resources to other concerns in the county. 1988 is the last number of known COVID-19 cases in Florence since the beginning of the pandemic and that number was generated on the 14th of September. New numbers are expected out tomorrow. The latest numbers from the state were generated on September 21st and at that time was showing an increase in cases.
Gas Power Plant Loses Site Certificate
Climate activists across the state have been pushing for Oregon to be more climate conscious and it has apparently helped. Oregon has officially axed a gas-fired power plant near the Columbia River. The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council terminated the site certificate for the proposed Perennial Wind Chaser Station in Umatilla County. Audrey Leonard is with Columbia Riverkeeper and says the decision is a victory for the climate.
“If built, the facility would have been one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon. Over its 30-year life cycle, the plant would have emitted at least 30 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution, which means it also would have locked the state into 30 more years of reliance on fracked gas.”
Plans for the plant date back to 2015. Since then, Perennial Power Holdings, the company behind the plant, has struggled to find a buyer for the power that would be generated. Since it was first announced, the state has committed to strong climate goals. In 2020, Governor Kate Brown directed state agencies to cut carbon emissions in Oregon by 80 percent within the next three decades.